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. we go over the fiscal cliff small business owners could see the tax rates rise to over 50 percent. >> it is eye popping isn't it. pray congress makes a deal to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. high income workers there will get more than 50 percent. it targets income brackets. state taxes went up. they are now higher than both new york city as well as hawaii. >> when it comes to jobs being added different numbers, 118,000. >> this is the first week of the month we get a lot of jobs data. storm event coming in when i say storm literally we will see the effects of super storm sandy. private job creation says businesses added 118,000 jobs in november. if it were not for sandy that number would have been north of 200,000. adt may have a stronger jobs report that's the big one economists look at. we expect 93,000 nonfarm jobs have been created last month. the numbers are weak and they suggest it's not just a storm but it is worried about the fiscal cliff holding businesses back from hiring. >> business owners and other people on e-mail which is most of us. when you are reading the e-
people who call me, they're more worried about the fiscal cliff than about rates going up a couple of points. thomas rooney in your party, if there is truly entitlement reforms that's going to preserve social security and medicare for generations to come, it's going to be very difficult for me to oppose higher rates for the rich. what about that? >> and to mr. rooney's point, if in fact there were fundamental, significant reform of medicare, medicaid and social security so that we in fact save and strengthen and secure those programs, just like we did in our budget,those were included in the president's proposal, then that's something that we would talk about and very seriously consider because there's where we got to get. we got to get real solutions. the problem with the president's proposal is it's not a real solution, it's all politics. >> congressman tom price, thank you for coming on the program. >> we've been talking about the president's advantage right now. so, karl rove was not about to sit on the sidelines. his crossroads gps is running a spot today criticizing the presi
attempts to link the fiscal cliff budget negotiations to future increases in the nation's debt ceiling. "the new york times" reported republicans might accept higher tax rates on wealthier americans to avoid triggering tax hikes for everyone. in return, they'd demand greater spending cuts next year before raising the federal borrowing limit. >> if congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, which, by the way, we have never done in our history until we did it last year, i will not play that game because we've got to... we've got to break that habit before it starts. >> reporter: the 2011 standoff between the president and republicans led the nation to the brink of national default. standard and poor's even lowered its rating on u.s. government bonds. now, the president has proposed he be given authority to raise the debt ceiling without congressional action. house republicans reject that idea. and they've called for raising revenue without rate hikes, plus major
the fiscal cliff. i am told, though, that there was no real progress in negotiations. in this sense there was no breakthrough on that central point of tax rates. as you know, president obama insists there is no deal unless the gop agrees to raise rates on the top 2% of earners. the gop says that's a nonstarter and the two men have not moved from that basic position. now, all of this quomz comes at the same time treasury secretary geithner also said for the first time the administration would be willing to go over the fiscal cliff if the gop does not agree to raise those rates. this was treasury secretary geithner earlier today on cnbc. >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest. all americans get a tax cut on the first $250,000 of their income. so, in some sense it's a tax cut for all americans. >> reporter: bottom line, anderson, we're talking today but still at stalemate. >> yeah, i mean, it's a sign, jessica and dana, of just how lac
we could do is go over the fiscal cliff. we have the same tax rates that we have when bill clinton was president. significant cuts in defense and also significant human services can you tell us. >> katie, let me ask you, before you respond to what governor dean is saying. there is logic to what howard dean is saying. i don't happen to agree with it. but i know where he's coming from. katie, let me ask you this -- katie can't hear me. we'll wait for her to get back hooked in. howard, what about the notion that i'm posing tonight -- i've said this a few times -- republicans better be careful. they're not going down your road and the democrats aren't going down your road. you have middle class tax cuts for the democrats and it sometimes sounds to me as an old reagan conservative that the republicans better watch themselves because sometimes it sounds like they are kind of defending rich people. that's their whole mantra, just defending rich people. and i think that's not where they should be. >> i would agree. if i were politically advising the republicans, which i'm certainly not, i
are talking about the patch about the 2012 taxable year, and unlike the fiscal cliff that affects tax rates that apply next year, the patch applies to the return that we will all have to file early next year. if there is not congressional action here, there is the abrupt increase in tax on the 2012 taxable year under -- in 2011, approximately 4 million people paid the amt. if there's not a patch, 30 # million people will be required to pay in 2012, and for the current taxable year, and they will pay app additional $90 billion in tax. none of them -- few of them have any idea that this is on the table. >> host: is the isr prepared? >> guest: the irs took a fairly unusual, but i think correct position, taking the position that congress will do the responsible thing so they did their tax programming for next year for the 2012 return, assuming congress would enact the patch before the end of the year. if -- i think that was the reasonable thing to do because almost -- even i believe they will do that -- however, it does mean if there's not a patch, the tax return filing season next year will be
to see us go over the fiscal cliff. we have got to get serious. we do not want to increase tax rates. we want to do something about the spending problem. remember, the goodwill -- the speaker put revenue on the table just after the election. he said, we get it. the president won his reelection and we won our be election. here is our proposal to the president that we were unwilling to give during that negotiation talks last year. >> they know that you put revenue on the table. will you pull back from them and give them some spending cuts question mark -- cuts? >> this is not a game. we are not interested in playing rope a dope. we do not want to see taxes go up on anybody. we want to engage in tax reform and get the economy going. we are not playing a game. that offer yesterday was simply not serious. thank you. >> next, house minority leader nancy pelosi talks to reporters about the so-called the school cliff negotiations. she urged house republican leadership to bring legislation to the floor regarding middle- class tax cuts. this is about 20 minutes. >> good afternoon. i'm here today w
to go off the fiscal cliff? >> absolutely. if there is no agreement that doesn't involve rates going up. >> gretchen: is that what the discussion is about? if you're watching the main stream media, it's about tax, tax, tax, tax. why are we taxing so much? because we really do have a spending problem. >> steve: or a deep hole. >> brian: i thought it was interesting. does geithner ever speak and make you feel better? all he does is -- i have a sense that it's something terrible is about to happen. having said that and this communication ability aside, i'm stunned to see him playing politics. he's flat out playing politics. he added if the president doesn't get his own way and get the power action undependentsed power to raise the debt limit and take it away from congress, that's also a nonstarter. since when is getting into that and saying if we don't raise taxes on the top 2%, we're never going to have a deal. really? doesn't he know the math? we all know the math. this is like throwing a nickel into the ocean. $85 billion on an annual deficit that's over a trillion dollars in debt. he's
prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. >> we face no prospect of agreement that doesn't involve the rates going up on the top two percent. >> brian: he also said he believes that the president needs to get control of the debt limit. that is a nonstarter. there is no way to get congress to give up control of debt limit. >> steve: republicans are saying let's cave and surrender on the tax issue. but coming up in 2013 we have leverage over the debt limit. remember the president of the united states his personal approval ratings went in the toilet. >> brian: as is the congress. >> steve: the congress didn't have as far to because they were close to the floor anyway. republicans say let's have leverage next time and the president said let's take that off of the table and from now on the president doesn't have to negotiate from congress. congress doesn't like that one bit. >> gretchen: usually when you are holding the cards in the negotiation you don't have to budge. that's the position the president and time geithner feel. they feel they hold the cards and they won the election and they believ
left to make a deal before the country hits what's called the fiscal cliff. that's a combination of across the board tax increases for everyone, coupled with cuts in spending like defense, education, health care, and housing assistance. let's go live to our chief white house correspondent jessica yellin with the very latest. jessica? >> reporter: president obama has now personally turned down speaker boehner's opening offer to avert the fiscal cliff. he did it in a tv interview. what does president obama think of speaker boehner's proposal to avert the fiscal cliff? >> unfortunately, the speaker's proposal right now is still out of balance. he talks about $800 billion worth of revenues but says he's going to do that by lowering rates. when you look at the math, it doesn't work. >> reporter: he won't agree to eliminate a tax deduction for contributions to charity. >> every hospital and university and nonfor profit agency across the country would find themselves on the verge of collapse. so that's not a realistic option. >> reporter: but the president didn't say all this to speaker
tax rates on the rich to avo avoid the fiscal cliff. erin burnett's been looking into that. she's going in depth on that tonight. what have you found out? >> it seems more and more likely that we're going to end up in a situation where we get a pretty awful deal if we get a deal. there's not going to be a grand bargain, which is a big failure, but are there going to be republicans who are willing to make serious corp. mizs. tom mcclint ok's going to be our guest. we're going put the hard questions to him tonight, plus, wolf, you remember amy copeland, the young woman who went on the bungee jump and got the stitches and had to go back because of the flesh eating bacteria? >> what happened? >> well, she survived and she is our special guest tonight. she was honored with a woman of the year award and her story is pretty incredible. she talks about what she still struggles to do, whether there are still moments in the middle of the night where she feels life isn't fair. >> i'll look forward to that, to the whole show at the top of the hour. thanks very much. >> still ahead, robbing
over the fiscal cliff? >> absolutely. again, there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest members. only 2%. the size of the problem in some sense is so large it can't be solved without rates going up. again, there is broad recognition of that reality now. >> one fallback option, republicans are reportedly considering to accept tax cuts for the middle class, allow rates to go up to the wealthiest and then start the fight all over again during debt limit talks early next year. yesterday at a business roundtable of ceos, president obama took a hard line warning opponents not to consider the strategy. >> if congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation which by the way we have never done in our history until we did it last year, i will not play that game. >> senator tom coburn yesterday on "morning joe" became the latest to break ranks saying he could support president obama's tax proposal. he joins a gr
. >> with no breakthrough today, fiscal cliff negotiations, could this be a starting point? "outfront" republican congressman james lankford of oklahoma, incoming chairman of the republican policy committee, the fifth ranking position in the house gop leadership. appreciate you're taking the time. what about this idea of racinin taxes on everyone? the math works much better. >> i heard your lead in when you said this is a new idea. actually, it's not a new idea, there are several democrats who have floated that for a while. the code word is we want to go back to the clinton tax rates and talk about the clinton economy that we had a much more vigorous economy and growth and we should go back to the clinton tax rates. what that really means is all tax rates on all americans go back up because the tax rates were brought down in 2001 and 2003. i don't support that. i don't think that's a great idea. it would slow down the economy. >> when you look at economist's evaluations, it would slouw dow the economy. it would. there's no question about it. but if the problem is that we have a lot of debt and th
want with the president and house republicans at an impasse over how to avoid the fiscal cliff, a bipartisan group of governors arrives in washington for a meeting. >> our focus today was not to endorse a specific plan nor to dismiss a specific plan, but rather to point out, as gary mentioned, as governors, we think it's important that we have a seat at the table. >> flash point serious, secretary clinton in brussels where nato leaders are sending patriot anti-defense missiles to turkey and warning syria of any thought of using chemical weapons. prince william leaves the hospital after visiting kate. she remains hospitalized for severe morning sickness. good day. i'm amount li-- andrea mitchell live in washington. the senate has managed to vote on something, rejected a u.n. treaty to extend rights to the blind and disabled, rights that have been the law of the land here in the united states since 1990. despite an emotional appearance from bob dole just out of walter reed, 89 years old, a passionate advocate for equal rights for the disabled since his first speech on the senate
. the democrats line. caller: looking at the we go back -- at the fiscal cliff, we go back to 2001 with the lowering of the tax rates, meant to create jobs. but in the past 10 or 11 years, we have not had any job creation whatsoever. we keep going back and hearing over and over again that it's going to cost jobs. we do not have jobs to begin with. businesses are out to make money. if consumers do not have money to spend, then you can lower their taxes to 0%. they still cannot spend because they do not have any income. guest: i think that is a great point. it brings up one thing we have not mentioned yet. the payroll tax cut is about to expire. if that expires, every paycheck in the country is going to go down about $1,000 on january 1st. that would hurt consumption. it would hurt the customers of businesses. the president has proposed to extend that. i think that is reasonable. we will see a firm public and keep up their opposition or they give in. we have a sleeper here that cannot be ignored. if we do not extend that, every paycheck in the country is going to go down. >> i agree
the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. again, we say there's no prospect for an agreement that doesn't involve those tax rates going up. remember, it's 2%. remember, all of those americans, too, get a tax cut into that framework on the first $250,000 of their income. >> that said the president and speaker john boehner discussed the budget by phone yesterday. susan mcginnis is in washington with the latest on this game of fiscal chicken. susan, good morning to you. >> right. good morning, terrell. yeah, that phone call does raise the possibility that some serious talks could start soon, but now we learn that a lot of members of congress are heading out on a long weekend, not to return till tuesday. this as the impasse here on capitol hill continues and the nation waits. social security workers marched outside their office in baltimore wednesday. they're protesting the government spending cuts due to kick in at the end of the year as part of the fiscal cliff. >> we don't want to see our public hurt in any way. >> just down the road in washington, d.c., the standoff continues. house speaker john
to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> absolutely. there is no room for an agreement that the not involve the rates going up for the top 2%. >> speaking to a roundtable of corporate executives in washington, president obama said republicans' aid to examine the reality that tax rates will rise for the wealthiest americans. >> we have seen some movement in the last several days with some republicans. there has been a recognition that, maybe, they can accept some rate increases as long as is combined with a serious impediment reform and additional spending cuts. and if we can get the leadership on the republican side to take that kramer, to acknowledge that reality, then the numbers are actually not that far apart. another way of putting this is, we could probably solve this in about one week. it is not that tough. >> new details have been revealed in the retail giant kermit factory where 120 dacre workers died in a fire last month. "the new york times" is reporting that wal-mart played a key role in blocking the improvement of safety features at the ban
such barbed words and occurred before treasury secretary tim geithner laid down this harsh fiscal cliff marker. >> if the administration, are they prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> absolutely. no prospect or agreement that doesn't involve those rates going on on the top 2%. remember, only 2%. >> reporter: that danger? not enough to keep congress in session. it's all right quit for the week. most lawmakers assume correctly there are bit players until there's a deal. that looks more complicated until mr. obama demanded republicans raise the debt ceiling this month without any spending cut strings attached. >> if congress in any way suggests they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes, and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, i will not play that game. because we've got to break that habit before it starts. >> reporter: the president sees the fiscal cliff showdown as an opportunity to break that linkage for good. republicans say they will not increase the debt ceiling now $16 trillion and due to expire in f
there'd been no progress on a fiscal cliff deal. but stocks rose later, on news that the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.7% in the third quarter. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 36 points to close well above 13,021. the nasdaq rose 20 points to close at 3,012. the united nations general assembly voted today to recognize palestine as a non- member observer state. the tally was 138 to nine, with 41 abstentions. the u.s. voted no. it came after palestinian president mahmoud abbas appealed to the world body to issue the birth certificate of palestine. >> we did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago, and that is israel. rather, we came to affirm the legitimacy of a state that must now achieve its independence, and this is palestine. >> sreenivasan: palestinians said the vote would strengthen their hand in future peace talks with israel. but the israeli ambassador to the u.n., ron prosor, warned that the palestinians are turning their backs on peace. >> for as long as president abbas prefers symbolism over reality, as long as he prefers to
prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. again, there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest americans -- remember, it's only 2%. the size of the problem in some sense is so large, it can't be solved without rates going up as part of that. again, i think there's broad recognition of that reality now. >> one fallback option republicans are reportedly considering is to accept tax cuts for the middle class, allow rates to go up for the wealthiest, and then start the fight over again during debt limit talks early next year. yesterday at a business roundtable of ceos, president obama took a hard line, warning his opponents not to consider this strategy. >> if congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to dell creting votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, which, by the way, we have never done in our history until we did it last year, i will not play that game. >> well, i wonder, the president's saying, steve, that, you know what, we can
are willing to make sure we don't go over this fiscal cliff but at the same time don't harm this economy. what has to happen here if the president shows a little leadership we are willing to stay in the room and stay here and we are willing to get this done. that's why you saw a proposal that is raoeubl reasonable that meets his criteria. >> reporter: steny hoyer said in the next few days we will see substantive movement in private to get this done. jenna: we'll continue to watch the play-by-play, mike, thank you. jon: right now we are continuing to await a speech by former president george w. bush, the speakers are taking to the podium there to get ready to introduce the former president. he is set to address a conference there in dallas, where he will spotlight the positive impact of immigration on u.s. economic growth. this as the g.o.p. looks to attract more hiss to the party. meantime mr. bush's father, former president george h.w. bush is spending another day in the hospital being treated for bronchitis and a lingering cough. we told you about that last week when we first found out that
fall off the fiscal cliff, dividends will be taxed at ordinary income rates so your rate on your investments is going to go up depending on your tax bracket, that means 15%, 28%, 31%, 36% or 39.6%. so the rate on your investment income could be more than double what it is right now for middle and high income earners. other companies that have paid out their dividends early, walmart, costco, dillard's -- >> so they are preparing for this? >> oh, yes. they're getting the money out early so their investors don't pay higher taxes on it. >> what is the one thing we need to know about our money today? >> ho, ho, ho, december has been the best month for stocks over the past 30 years. december has been the santa claus rally they call it. when investors square their portfolios, they close out their positions, could the fiscal cliff talks in washington kill santa claus? another reason to be mad at your policymakers. december should be a good month. it historically is. >> all right, thank you. 27 minutes past the hour. every time you send a text message it could soon be recorded. it could a
the fiscal cliff. check this out. >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff. >> absolutely. we see no prospects for an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthist. remember it's only 2%. >> reporter: most people think a deal will be struck between the president and the speaker of the house, the fact that they are talking and not leaking may be a good sign, jenna. jenna: we'll see. what role has treasury secretary timothy geithner, we just heard from him there, what role has he played in awful all o all of this. >> he's been the public spokesman and delivered the president's plan to capitol hill, which they said was not serious. you had mitch mcconnell try to bring up the geithner-obama plan for a vote. check this out. >> this the president's proposal was made in good faith our friends should be eager to vote for it, so i'm surprised the majority leader just declined the chance for them to support it with their votes. so, i guess we're left to conclude that it couldn't even pass by a bare majority of votes and that they'd
laid down this harsh fiscal cliff marker. >> is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. again, there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest americans. remember, it's only 2%. >> reporter: that danger not enough to keep congress in session. it's already quit for the week as most lawmakers assume correctly, they are not players until there's a deal. president obama, in a meeting with some of the country's largest corporations demand that congress raise the debt ceiling without any strings attached. >> if congress in any way suggests that they're going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation, i will not play that game. because we've got to break that habit before it starts. >> reporter: the president sees the fiscal cliff showdown as an opportunity to break that linkage for good. republicans say they will not increase the debt ceiling now $16 trillion and due to expire in februar
not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff? >> oh, absolutely. there's no prospect to an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthy. >> all right. it appears the very definition of the american dream is now being rewritten by president barack obama. now, today our commander-in-chief publicly said he's not going to play games with the fiscal cliff, but that is just not reality. right now the president is playing a very dangerous game of chicken and this is with your paycheck and the american dream. meanwhile, the republicans have allowed themselves to get caught in a circular firing squad. they're negotiating publicly among themselves while true conservatives and tea party members are being removed from key committees. today speaker john boehner adopted the president's class wawarfare rhetoric. shocking? watch this. >> we've got to cut spending, and i believe it's appropriate to put revenues on the table. now, the revenues we're putting on the table are going to come from, guess who, the rich? there are ways to limi
, it does does not work. >> not work. as negotiations as negotiations to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff" continue, republicans were equally dismissive of the last proposal from the president. >> his proposal was so outlandish i don't think we should go back to the table until he puts something there that we can work with. >> the key sticking point between the two sides hasn't changed -- tax rates for the wealthy. >> the math is clear. the only way to accomplish these things is to allow the rates to go up on the top 2 percent of taxpayers.// >> he's punishing success. we'll put at risk the economic growth that we really need to create the jobs, to create taxpayers and to create the revenue we need to lower our deficit. >> after a white house meeting tuesday, a bipartisan group of governors expressed hope an agreement will be reached, soon. none of us >> but none of us want to see taxes on middle class folks go up and we think it would have a significantly negative impact on our economy but we are not backing one particular plan or the other. >> experts forecast economic turmoil
. as scheduled on january 1st. this is a so-called fiscal cliff. january 1st. our news makers representative jim clyburn of south carolina, number three democrat in the house of representatives and number one i'm sure to a lot of people. hello. how are you? >> hey, don. thank you so much for having me. >> thanks for coming on. is speaker boehner right, though? as the clock is ticking, ticking toward january 1st, the talks haven't progressed in two weeks. is he right? >> well, i don't know that i'm as disappointed as the speaker is right now. i understand some of his problem with this. but the fact of the matter is the american people ended elections on november 6th, voiced their approval of president obama's approach to this. over 3 million more people voted for him than voted for mr. romney. and then if you look at house democr democrats. only 201 of us got eelected. that means the rest were republicans. >> i understand that. >> but over 500,000 more votes than they got -- >> with all due respect, representative, we understand that the president won and you feel that democrats won. but is the s
to avoid the "fiscal cliff." it calls for $2.2 trillion in savings over ten years, but no hike in tax rates. and the u.n. announced it's pulling nonessential international staffers from syria, while u.s. officials warned the syrian government not to use chemical weapons on its people. online, an update to a law in saudi arabia renews a debate about male guardianship. hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: now whenever a saudi woman leaves the country, her husband or father receives a text message. the recent changes to the long- held system of male guardianship sparked outrage on twitter recently. i spoke to a journalist in saudi arabia who says the practice reinforces male control. our conversation is in the rundown. today's science roundup features dragonflies, or as one science writer calls them "the bengal tigers of the microworld." find the story on our home page. how can you secure a larger social security payment from an ex-spouse? the answer is in this week's installment of "ask larry." all that and more is on our web site, gwen? >> ifill: and that's the newsho
's savannah. >>> new movement this morning to try and avoid the fiscal cliff. some republicans are considering abandoning their staunch opposition to higher tax rates according to recent reports. alan simpson was co-chair on the commission of fiscal responsibility. he's a co-founder of fix the debt campaign and joins us now. senator simpson, good morning, it's great to see you. >> great pleasure to be off the witness protection program and come here. but what even more fun, david brubeck used to come to wyoming a great deal. he and his family, lovely people. i did not know he had passed. and to hear that music, it's iconic stuff. anyway. so it's good to sneak in and get made up, try to hide my identity. >> well, it's good to have you here. you say you're in the witness protection program because you've been out there on the issue of how we fix our national deficit. as you well know, we face the fiscal cliff, a series of tax hikes and spending cuts that many people think if they go into effect will put the country into recession. yet we heard the treasury secretary tim geithner say the presiden
to for the individual taxpayer if we do go off the fiscal cliff? guest: if we go off the cliff, the rate will go up to 39.6%. the low bracket will go away and the lowest tax bracket will be 15% if we go off the cliff. 15% to 39.6% if we go off the cliff. caller: what about the other rates? host: we have a question on twitter. host: we have a question on twitter. guest: you don't pay taxes on losses. if you're making profits and a picture up over $250,000, that could result in a tax increase that kicks you over $250,000. caller: we need jobs in this country. i hear all this money being talked. the average worker -- i am lucky i get 30 hours. they're cutting down to 20 hours at wal-mart. i had a good manager. thank god. i notice a woman comes in. she is a high-end lady. she says we can get anybody to work. you talk about the tax credits. most of us have no chance of getting anything like that. we only make enough money to survive. a lot of us get food stamps. i never thought in my life. this is too low republicans and democrats. fascism and communism, it was always party first. that's what our count
, going off the so-called fiscal cliff means a tax hike for just about everybody who does have a job. treasury secretary timothy geithner said the president is absolutely welling to go off the cliff unless republicans agree to raise tax rates. >> there is no prospect for an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top 2% of the wealthiest. only 2%. >> reporter: on that no progress. >> where are the specifics? where are the discussions? nothing is going on. >> reporter: there have been no real talks between the white house and republicans for a week, but they say one sign of progress, the president and the speaker of the house spoke via telephone. neither side would give any details about what was said. the stock market closed higher with traders optimistic a deal will be reached. jonathan karl, abc news, washington. >> amazing a phone call can calm the markets. impressive here. what i thought was interesting. we talked how the house is scheduled to go on vacation the 14th of the month. so actually there is a tighter deadline than the 31st. apparently, house majority
the fiscal cliff, shep. >> shepard: what's the thinking on whether they can actually come together at some point here, ed? >> right now it's pretty dim. if you look at what speaker john boehner said in that exclusive interview with our own chris wallace on "fox news sunday." he said right now there are nowhere in these talks. other serious republicans like lindsey graham says he thinks we are edging closer to closer to this just being in calamity. >> i think we are going over the cliff. it's pretty clear to me that they made a political calculation. >> he believes we are likely to go of 00 cliff now. the bottom line is tonight the president is hosting congressional leaders for this congressional ball. basically a black tie holiday party. maybe they will start talking about compromise but so far none in site. ed henry live on the north lawn. prince william's wife kate in the hospital because of problems with her just announced pregnancy. just ahead what we have learned about this condition and this new kid coming along. plus a dolphin attacks a little girl at sea world with a bite strong en
actually maybe wants to go over the fiscal cliff if the republicans do not agree to raising income tax rates even though yesterday they agreed to these deductions and loopholes and getting rid of them, which essentially many people argue, would do somewhat of the same thing. your thoughts? >> right. so there are going to be consequences for syria if they use chemical weapons and the president thinks there is going to be severe consequences for the republicans if, in fact, we go over this precipice and raise your hand if you're tired of this cliche about the fiscal cliff. he thinks look, the republicans will suffer terribly, the country will be thrown into some turmoil, he thinks and he thinks he's the winner either way. it's easy for the president and his team to go out there and posture on this. but both sides are playing this game a little bit. the republicans are doing the same thing. they're play to go their base. they want to make sure that regardless of what ends up happening at the end, if a deal is struck, that they at least have the appearance of sticking to their principles.
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